A 23-YEAR-OLD who burgled the fire station where his father works and stole over €80,000 worth of equipment has been given a three-year sentence with 28 months suspended.
Darren Snee was caught after his father recognised him on CCTV. He had taken his father's fob key without his knowledge and, along with an accomplice, opened the shutters to remove the equipment, which he then sold on for €600.
Snee, of Oak Court Close, Palmerstown in Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Dublin Fire Brigade workshop in Grangegorman on August 26, 2010.
Garda Denis Ellard told prosecuting counsel John Quirke that the manager of the station called gardai after the break-in was discovered.
Gardai viewed CCTV footage at the station and Snee's father David recognised his son.
Snee was arrested and admitted to gardai he took his father's keys and he was aware of the layout of the station.
He admitted stealing two water pumps, batteries, drills, boxes of brass and copper, a radiator and a €4,500 diagnostic machine for servicing ambulances and fire brigades. The equipment was valued at €83,000.
Snee, who has no previous convictions, admitted to gardai he did not need the money he got from selling the equipment for anything specific.
Garda Ellard agreed with defence counsel Gerry Burke Snee "wouldn't be the sharpest of individuals" and said he didn't think he "comprehended his actions".
"The accomplice would be a lot sharper and the brains behind the operation," said Garda Ellard.
"He knew the cameras were there yet he made no attempt to conceal himself," said Mr Burke.
Judge Martin Nolan noted that Snee stole "valuable, useful and lifesaving equipment" from the fire station and sold it on for the "paltry sum" of €600.
"He took advantage of his father and put him in a very embarrassing situation, betraying him in a very amateur fashion. It was almost inevitable he was going to be detected," said Judge Nolan before sentencing him to serve eight months of the three years so Snee would "learn a severe lesson".